Plant Pathology
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Department of Plant Pathology News

Walter Douglas Gubler 1946-2018

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague, Doug Gubler, who passed away unexpectedly on July 19. Doug’s association with our department goes back over 40 years, when he worked as a staff research associate and graduate student with Professor Ray Grogan. He completed his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology in 1982, worked briefly in the private sector, and then returned in 1983 as a Specialist in Cooperative Extension. Doug contributed extensively to research, teaching, service, and outreach throughout his career, including substantive contributions to the American Phytopathological Society. Doug and his group made seminal discoveries that deepened our understanding of the etiology, epidemiology and management of diseases affecting grapes, and orchard and other small fruit crops. These included innovations in management of Botrytis bunch rot, development of the Gubler-Thomas risk assessment model for powdery mildew, and characterization of the complex etiology of canker and vine decline diseases in grapes. What underscored the success of many of these projects was a firm understanding of the biology of the host-pathogen system under study, a principle that he reinforced with those who worked with him.

Doug mentored many graduate students, post-docs, and other researchers, providing opportunities for professional growth. So many of his team have become key players in the field, with influence far beyond the California border. His dedication to his extension responsibilities is evident from his broad engagement with growers, pest control advisors and UCCE personnel in production areas throughout the state. He was highly respected for his expertise and insight throughout the state, as well as the nation and the world. He received a number of distinguished awards, including the APS Excellence in Extension Award, election as an APS Fellow, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the APS Pacific Division. He was a recipient of the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux De Champagne in France. Our hearts go out to his wife, Carol, and their large family during this difficult time.

The memorial service to honor Doug Gubler is Friday, August 17th, at 3:30pm at the Davis International House. Please RSVP by Friday, August 3rd.

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